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Dilemma of textile city project

Dilemma of textile city project

After spending more than Rs2.5 billion public money on the Pakistan Textile City project, the government has decided to wind it up in the national interest. The ambitious project, factually an industrial zone dedicated to the textile processing and related industries, was launched in 2009 over an area of 1250 acres in Karachi. The city was made public‐private joint venture company driven by the vision to develop and operate a state‐of‐the‐art industrial zone to boost value added textile products. But the project soon ran into financial troubles with liabilities reaching over Rs5 billion during the last eight years. After years of mismanagement, corruption and administrative failure, its board of governors has now decided to close it up. A prominent board member told the Senate committee on ports and shipping that a general body meeting of the investors and shareholders has been called to decide the fate of the mega project. At least 75 percent investors are required to vote for winding up the project, as it is allegedly causing Rs800,000 per day loss to the national exchequer. With a decision to close the project, the officials would continue the traditions of making and breaking process of the national building programme.

Now after years of ill-planning and mismanagement, all the assets of the company will be disposed of and the land will be transferred to the Port Qasim Authority, which had earlier leased it to the city. The burden of all the liabilities of the company will be placed on the port to sort out the matter from its own resources. At least 56 percent shares of the company were owned by the federal government and 16 percent by the Sindh government. However, despite the involvement of the federal and provincial governments, the project could not get even gas and electricity connections, leaving the area waterless during the whole years. This shows how the official cadres is lethargic in acting on time. In the absence of an accountability mechanism, it will be difficult to fix responsibility of the losses on anyone. This is the dilemma of this nation that precious national exchequer is wasted away and no one is held responsible for it. Billions of dollars have been lost on Nandipur Power Project, Kalabagh Dam project, Neelum Jhelum hydro power project and the latest on Textile City Project. God knows when this process will end.